After the most wonderful time of the year comes that most feared time in the parenting calendar.
Winter bugs season.
If you thought it was bad when you were a non-parent who spent their days locked in an air conditioned office or overcrowded commuter train, imagine the joys of also being responsible for a small person who puts everything in their mouth, has no sense of hygiene and plays with other children who are equally gross, at places teaming with bugs.
Friends are forever regaling me with horror stories of their whole family being struck down with norovirus, chickenpox and hand, foot and mouth.
Heard of shigellosis? Me neither, even though I edited the health features in a parenting magazine for three years. But apparently there was an outbreak of this vomiting bug before Christmas.
Earlier this week, I spotted Baby Bookworm looking at What Are Germs? from Usborne’s Very First Question and Answers series.
This non-fiction range aimed at children aged three and older also includes titles like Why Do We Need Bees?, Where Do Babies Come From? and the delightful (and award-winning) What is Poo?
The interactive board book explains about viruses, bacteria, illness – and how to avoiding catching them – in simple language.
The information has been put together with advice from Public Health England, so it is scientifically and medically accurate.
Before you starting yawning, it is also quite good fun.
The illustrations are warm and appealing, and the text uses a question and answer format with lift-the-flaps to get kids interested.
Plus what child doesn’t find all this icky stuff fascinating?!
And with STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects being all the rage right now, you are giving your budding doctor or researcher a little head start.
Poor old Baby Bookworm got the chance to put theory into practice a little sooner than either of us would have liked because a few hours after he ‘read’ this book, he came down with a sudden (and thankfully short-lived) sickness bug.
Oh, the irony…
What Are Germs? by Katie Daynes, illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguens. £7.99 (board book), Usborne